lauantai 24. tammikuuta 2009

The first million seller: The Miracles - Shop around

Motown's first #1 in the R'n B charts (and #2 in Billboard Hot 100) and the first million seller single was Shop around by The Miracles in 1960. The Miracles later became Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in true Motown style. Shop around itself has been covered a zillion times ever since and scored Billboard #4 again in 1976 by The Captain & Tennille. The Miracles scored 50 hits in their career including two #1's. Smokey Robinson left in 1970 for a solo career but the band went on in different formations until 1978.

sunnuntai 18. tammikuuta 2009

The first hit: Barrett Strong - Money

Barrett Strong's Money (That's what I want), penned by Gordy himself was Motown's first real hit peaking at #2 in Billboard's R&B charts. This song was later covered by The Beatles for example. Strong (born February 5, 1941) later made him known as a songwriter and together with Norman Whitfield they wrote such classics as I heard it through the grapewine, War, Ball of confusion and Papa was a rolling stone. After Motown moved to LA he started his singing career again on other labels and his latest album is from 2008, though released only in digital format.

perjantai 16. tammikuuta 2009

The first release: Marv Johnson - Come to me

Marv Johnson (15 October 1938- 16 May 1993) recorded the very first Tamla (Motown) release, Come to me, in May 1959. The Motown sound is already loud and clear here. As Tamla was only working in Detroit area at the time the song was distributed nationwide by United Artists. He soon was signed by them and continued releasing records and working for UA until 1968 and scored nine Billboard Hot 100 singles, including You got it what it takes (#10 in 1959) and I love the way you love (#9 in 1960). Berry Gordy worked as his manager however and Johnsson returned to record for Motown in 1968 but his recording career was pretty much over. He continued to perform until his premature death in 1993.

maanantai 12. tammikuuta 2009